- Describe the nutrients available in compost
- Describe ways that compost can be used
Compost is referred to as black gold and that may be a gross understatement. When you look at the commercial fertilizer and amendments section of the local garden shop you will find a few all-purpose fertilizers, several products that promise to do two or three things, but most are simply one trick ponies.
Compost, however, has countless benefits for the soil, the microbes that live there, and the plants that rely on the structure and nutrients for growth. It affects the entire local ecosystem. And its benefits don’t stop there. Consider the the resource recovery in the abundance of nutrients that compost makes available to garden plants. Those nutrients would otherwise be lost to the anaerobic environment of the landfill adding to methane emissions.
By all accounts, compost may very well be worth its weight in gold.
Tools & Materials
- Flat screen, SMART Board or projector with internet
- Trace minerals
- Soil conditioner
- Beneficial microbes
Introduction (10 minutes)
Begin the lesson by explaining how composting closes the loop on the cycle of food production. Food scraps are transformed into nutrients for the benefit of the garden and future crops. Composting also reduces waste and helps the environment in a number of ways.
Activity (20 minutes)
Show the following video, Composting for Kids, to the Students. Then review the benefits of using compost in the garden and the impact it has on the soil. Specifically mention the assortment of nutrients that compost contains and conclude with the ways compost can be applied to the garden.
Discussion (10 minutes)
Can compost turn really poor soil into soil that can grow vegetables? How long do you think it would take to heal bad soil? What about compost is healing for poor soil? What does poor soil not have that good soil does?
Assessment (5 minutes)
Use the following questions to assess the Students before and after the lesson. Tally the responses of the group in the Assessment Tracking Log for comparison:
- By a show of hands, how many of you know why compost is so valuable for building good soil?
- Now that you know how many nutrients are in compost, how many of you think you could explain the value of compost to someone else?
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